ďSomeoneís opinion of you
does not have to become your reality.Ē
My name is Natalie Sissanes and I have previously suffered from anorexia nervosa. I was 12 years old when I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. After years of stress, fighting and struggling, I finally recovered from this illness I describe as a death sentence. It was an extremely difficult journey to experience which was not only tough for me but also strenuous, draining and traumatic for my family. Together we experienced the highs and lows that anorexia brings. We fought through the tough times and though it was extremely difficult, we got through it.
I believe that if a child has anorexia it is not only their problem, it is their entire familyís problem. No one can live with anorexia, whether it is you yourself who is suffering or someone who loves and cares for you, watching you slowly kill yourself.
It is an extremely hard situation to be in when you are caring for a loved one with an eating disorder. I think back to my experience and I wonder why. Why did I put myself and my family through all of that heartache and stress? What outcome did I achieve? I know that during the time I was ill it was extremely difficult for me to just eat. Most people believe that an eating disorder is evoked by food. They think that it is bizarre that someone could not want to eat food. Food keeps you alive, why would you try to starve yourself? But itís more than just food. There is a psychological perspective that needs to be explored. People donít just stop eating because they feel like it. There is a reason. It is very important that the family work together to fight an eating disorder. I know that if I didnít have the support and encouragement from my family, I wouldnít be here today. It is very important that a family addresses an eating disorder appropriately and hopefully this book will help to achieve that.
I hope that my experience can help others who are suffering from an eating disorder. If there is one thing that I want to take from my experience, itís how to enjoy life and to teach others how important your body is and how you should never abuse it. Life is a very important blessing and it is too short to waste your time ruining it for yourself and your family. I know now that I will cherish every moment of my life. It is precious and too short to waste time living the depressing, pessimistic and draining life an eating disorder brings.
The purpose of this book is to retell my story from my own perspective with the thoughts and opinions of those who were by my side throughout the good and the bad. I hope to describe how certain situations were addressed and whether I believe there were better strategies we could have used. My aim is to help others who may be experiencing the same situation, and their families, and assist them in giving the best treatment that really works.
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